3 Blue Jays players who will maintain their hot starts and 1 who won't
Will he maintain his start? No
The newest Blue Jays fan favorite Kevin Kiermaier has had a dream beginning to his tenure in Toronto. Through 13 starts, the long-time Tampa Bay Ray is hitting .327/.327/.481 with one home run, six RBI, seven runs scored, a stolen base and a 125 wRC+.
So far, Kiermaier has been a revelation hitting out of the nine-hole in the Jays lineup, displaying superb base running skills and hustle.
Not to mention his stellar defense, including his fantastic over-the-wall home-run-robbing catch in his first game at Rogers Centre as a member of the home team.
Despite all the well-deserved love and adoration through the first few weeks of the season, the underlying numbers suggest that Kiermaier is playing over his head with his start at the plate.
Let's start with the batting average. With a .327 average and on-base percentage, Kiermaier has been arguably the best ninth hitter in the league up to this point. Unfortunately, as a career .249 hitter, that number will inevitably come down. Even in his best offensive year, back in 2017, he hit .276.
His expected batting average is .262. Would the Jays take that in their nine-spot? Definitely. With all the intangibles he brings, if the 10-year veteran can maintain an average in the .260 to .275 range, it would be considered a win.
With an expected wOBA of .263, his current mark of .349 is due to come down closer to his career .309 wOBA.
As for slugging percentage, it seems his current .481 mark is due for some regression. The talented center fielder's expected slugging percentage is .341. If he finishes there, it would be the lowest of his career.
The 32-year-old has had some luck to start his Blue Jays career, currently sporting a .410 BABIP. If that seems high, it's because it is. The league BABIP is .299 on the year.
Kiermaier will more than earn his keep with his glove in center field and his ability on the basepaths but don't expect the same big offensive averages all season. If he manages to maintain the offense, it will indeed be a pleasant surprise.